Saturday, September 8, 2012

Song Review - Secret Word

I had originally planned to play tic tac toe with my primary kids (I have not done this with them yet, but it is a an old favorite that I think I might even remember from when I was a child). I changed my mind about tomorrow's activity because I so loved the idea of assigning each class a secret word, shared by Primary Singing Time Ideas for Leaders. I want to focus on the best way possible to sing every song and force the children to really think about the words, and I think this activity will help me to accomplish that goal.

The concept is simple, but I specifically wanted to share what secret words I will use and why, as well as how I want to incorporate origami for presentation.

First, the concept:

Assign each class a secret word. As the class sings all the primary songs, each class has a special action for their secret word, which they will make whenever the word comes up, no matter the song. At the end of the class, we'll try to see if children can guess each classes' secret word. That's it! So simple, but I think it will really make the children think about the words and be interested in singing.

These are the words I selected based on the frequency in which they occur in songs, as well as where I can recall they appear in songs (I have about six classes per sharing time so this gives me a spare). Each of the words I selected appears in at least two songs that we will be singing in our primary program. In addition, each of the songs will have at least two words in it for which a class will be participating.

The secret word and the action that I will be using (unless I change my mind about the action before Sunday, ha ha):

  • Choose or Choice - Stand up and sit down (I have the children sign this song so I didn't want to pick something that made it so that they couldn't continue to sign, too.)
  • Right - Stand, spin around once, and sit down (I have the children sign this song so I didn't want to pick something that made it so that they couldn't continue to sign, too.)
  • Jesus, Lord, or God -  Clap three times
  • Light - Do the wave
  • Rain - Stomp your feet a few times
  • Holy Ghost/ Holy Spirit - Hold your hand to your ear as if you are listening to the Holy Ghost
  • Man or Men - Change seats with someone in your class
  • Try - Hop on one foot three times
  • Wise or Wisdom - Clap your hands, then snap your fingers. Do this twice. (So you clap, snap, clap, snap.)
  • Child or Children - Shake someone's hand. (Hint: If there are an uneven number of children in your class, you may need to shake two people's hands.)

Where I noted the word appears in the songs that we are singing in our Primary Program
(and hence, why I selected that word):

As a Child of God - Light, God, Choose, Holy Ghost, Child
When I Am Baptized - God, Rain
Choose the Right - Light, Right, Holy Spirit, Choose, Wisdom, God
Stand for the Right - Light, Right
I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus, vs.1 - Jesus, Choice, Try
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man - Wise, Rain, Man
Nephi's Courage - Lord, Try
I Think When I Read that Sweet Story - Jesus, Men, Children

When I was in fifth grade, we passed each other notes in class by folding the paper in a fun way that had a little tab at the top. I'll upload a picture once I've done it but having used origami for several previous sharing time activities, I know there are plenty of origami sites if you want to add a little extra fun here. This way, I can get them excited about the came and pass to their teachers their secret words.

Making the songs mean something:
I feel it is really important to make sure the children understand and are thinking about the meaning behind the words they sing, so this is something I always try to emphasize.

This week, I saw a beautiful rainbow, so I am going to ask the children to raise their hand if they saw a rainbow this week (since I saw it in our neighborhood). Then, I will ask them if it reminded any of them of the covenants they have made or will make with their Father in Heaven, and use it as refresher reminder about the beauty and meaning of the lovely song, "When I Am Baptized."


  1. Our chorister did the secret word today! Weird coincidence... she had the teachers all be the ones with the words, so the kids could focus on singing. But of course, it was too funny. Especially samuel's reaction...

  2. I think that would be a fun way to do the activity, too. I was impressed at how well the children remembered all of the secret words. In junior primary, I called on children who raised their hands. In senior primary, I had each class guess another classes' secret word when we were done singing. They really paid attention. The children really made me chuckle several times!